It’s hard to believe it, but perpetually young Will Smith turns 49 on Sept. 25. And while we love Smith at, well, any age, we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for Smith circa the ’90s.
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After all, what ’90s kid can imagine that nostalgic decade without Smith in it? He wasn’t just the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air — he was straight-up ’90s royalty.
So in honor of one of our favorite entertainers (and let’s be real, our favorite decade too), let’s take a look back at the moments Smith embodied the ’90s.
This wasn’t just any song. It was the song that put DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince on the musical map. Of course, they never really traveled far, but at least they were on it, right? Any ’90s kid worth their salt knows you can’t have a respectable ’90s mix without including this quintessential summer jam.
2. Powerhouse pose
Praise be to the internet gods (and Mariah Carey) for this #FBF gem of two ’90s icons forever memorialized in all their ’90s glory.
3. A high note
Smith clearly thought this bright yellow and black leather getup was all that and a bag of chips. Considering he’s posing with circa ’90s Céline Dion — sporting a ’90s perm, no less — he must have had it goin’ on.
4. Bad boy, indeed
While we adore all versions of ’90s Smith, we’d be remiss if we didn’t admit Bad Boys Smith is the most treasured of the bunch.
5. Date night
Oh, ’90s Will… how do we love thee? Let us count the ways: 1) track suit sans T-shirt, 2) slouched pant legs, 3) OG wayfarer sunglasses at night and 4) every. Single. Thing your date was wearing too.
6. ‘Shipping since the ’90s
If the ’90s had a prom queen and king, it would undoubtedly have been Jada Pinkett and Smith.
7. Superstar power
Cher, Smith, Pinkett — there aren’t enough words in the English language to adequately capture the sheer brilliance of ’90s star power represented in this picture of the 1999 World Music Awards.
8. The unofficial fam
Leave it to Smith to pull off a hot-pink T-shirt and backward ball cap non-ironically! Smith’s Fresh Prince co-stars Karyn Parsons and Alfonso Ribeiro make this an even more significant throwback.
9. This is a story all about how…
We can’t very well leave this out, can we? For most of us, Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song would be right at the top of our ’90s-era playlist.